Published: December 19, 2019
Each year December is observed as National Safe Toys and Gifts Month.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind this holiday season and year round:
Child-age toys: Choose toys appropriate for your child's age, interests and skill level.
Toys with small parts: For children younger than three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking. Use the cardboard core of a toilet paper roll to test for size – if a toy can pass through, it is too small for young children and may cause them to choke if swallowed.
Toys with sharp edges: Avoid toys with sharp points or edges. Also avoid toys that produce loud noises, and projectiles (such as darts).
Strings, straps or cords: Toys with strings, straps or cords longer than 7 inches can pose a risk for strangulation for young children.
Electrical toys: Avoid electrical toys with heating elements for children under age 8.
Check labels: Check for safety labels that say whether or not a toy is toxic.
Scooters and other riding toys: Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times and they should be sized to fit.
Balloons: Choking causes one third of all toy-related deaths - most often from balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than eight years old. Discard broken balloons immediately.
Perhaps the most important thing a parent can do is to supervise play.
For additional information about safe toys, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website.